Toughie 1818 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1818

Toughie No 1818 by Firefly

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

It’s too hot to do much thinking so I was glad that this was a far easier puzzle than last Thursday’s.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Clove her patella like this when disorientated? (3,4,3,5)
ALL OVER THE PLACE: An anagram of CLOVE HER PATELLA. The answer provides the anagram indicator

9a    Bent material has press chasing old settler (5,4)
ANGLE IRON: A member of a German tribe that settled in England during the 5th Century + ‘to press (clothes)’

10a    Island limit runs alongside front in Ischia (5)
CAPRI: An Italian island = a limit + R (runs) + the first letter of Ischia

11a    I may cut into fruit Penny laid on (7)
APPLIED: I inside a fruit + an old penny

12a    Cry up story about lovely youth declining a date (7)
LIONISE: A story (fib) round a particularly handsome youth with the letters A and D (date) removed

13a, 24a, 16d, 18d    Jack Point? (3,3,3,3)
ONE FOR HIS NOB: A point scored in cribbage

14a    Depressions turbulent in west and east of Thames (7)
TROUGHS: ‘Turbulent’ inside the first and last letters of THAMES

17a    Cognisant (loosely cognisant!) with missing article (7)
GNOSTIC: An anagram (loosely) of COGNIST, i.e. COGNISANT minus AN (article)

19a    Rehearse in theatre? Swell (7)
REPRISE: Repertory theatre + ‘to swell’. I’m not convinced by the definition here

22a    Seamen alongside ship — faithful folk on board for gathering (7)
ABSCESS: Able-bodied seamen + a steamship round the Church of England (faithful folk)

24a    See 13 Across

25a    Bare necessity? (3,4)
FIG LEAF: A cryptic definition for the item Adam and Eve used to cover their nudity

26a    Glass houses mean having no lead in frames of timber (7)
TUMBLER: ‘Mean’ or ‘modest’ with the first letter removed inside the first and last letters (frames) of TIMBER

28a    Carpet the setter after a fiddle (5)
AMATI: A + a carpet + a personal pronoun denoting the setter = a violin made by a family from Cremona

29a    Holds fast surrounding personal stupidities (9)
CLOWNINGS: ‘Holds fast’ (6) round ‘personal’ (3)

30a    Renovated old master in Tate — ‘Urchins’ (15)


1d    Like half of non-professionals, classy chap’s to perform without hesitation. Truly! (2,1,6,2,4)
AS A MATTER OF FACT: ‘Like’ (2) + the first four letters of an 8-letter word meaning ‘non-professionals + a person of the upper classes (4) and ‘to perform’ (3) round ‘hesitation’ (2)

2d    On high point, gets promotion (3-2)
LEG-UP: The other name for the “on” side in cricket followed by a high point

3d    Shifting greens around the Emerald Isle (7)
VEERING: A three-letter shortened word meaning greens of the edible variety around a poetic name for the Emerald Isle

4d    Screen showing fresh e-orders (7)
REREDOS: An anagram (fresh) of E-ORDERS

5d    What ass lost through garrulousness? (7)
HINDLEG: A garrulous person is said to talk this off a donkey

6d    Choose a bass-sounding instrument (7)
PICCOLO: A homophone of ‘to choose’, A and ‘base’

7d    Official answer — pages of intricate nonsense initially gaining little support (9)
APPOINTEE: An official (someone who holds an office) = A (answer) + PP (pages) + the first letters of OF INTRICATE NONSENSE + a support used by golfers

8d    Pere Joseph and others incense me dreadfully, acquiring grand advancements (9,6)
EMINENCES GRISES: People exercising power in the background (as did Pere Joseph) = an anagram (dreadfully) of INCENSE ME + G (grand) + advancements

15d    Top set bridges canine, Granny, on the other side (9)
OPPUGNANT: An anagram (set) of TOP round a dog with a winkled face and a grandmother

16d    See 13 Across

18d    See 13 Across

20d    Record spinning during dances, I met Irene (7)
ITEMISE: Hidden in reverse in DANCES I MET IRENE

21d    Earl’s overturned coffee and got rid of mark (7)
EFFACED: E (Earl) + a reversal of coffee from which a certain alkaloid has been extracted

22d    Use tar as a medium? (3,4)
ART FORM: An anagram (use) of TAR + ‘as’ + M (medium). I’m not convinced that this clue works

23d    Creative Tracey, entering limited auction, is influential (7)
SEMINAL: The surname of the artist called Tracey inside an auction with the last letter removed

27d    Possibly prim, this language could be imploring (5)
LINGO: The answer and PRIM are an anagram of IMPLORING

I enjoyed it

13 comments on “Toughie 1818

  1. Started off R&W and then I had to think a bit – Nice to see one of my favourite words appear in 30a. I was held up for a while with 5d which I, and my subsequent checks, think should be 4,3 rather than 7

    Thanks to Firefly for the crossword and Bufo for the blog.

  2. I thought 22d was a reverse anagram (form of ‘ART” to give TAR).

    I’d forgotten the donkey expression.

    Otherwise fairly plain sailing.

    Many thanks Firefly and Bufo

  3. Admit to finding this one a bit of a slog in places – five new words that all needed input from Mr. Google plus BRB (my lack of knowledge, of course) and quite a few surface reads that I suspect would have been adversely criticised in a Rookie puzzle.
    Thought ‘answer’ = gathering was a bit of a stretch in 22a and couldn’t fully parse 27d – thank you, Bufo.

    Top three for me were 13etc, 25a and 5d.

    Thanks to Firefly and to Bufo – who made it sound so easy!

    I see it’s a day off from Toughies for me tomorrow!

  4. Despite having to resort to the BRB on several occasions, I did enjoy this, though 29A does not float my boat and I couldn’t parse 27D. I share Dutch’s thinking on the parsing of 22D and I agree with Jane that some surfaces would have raised a few eyebrows in the rookie corner. 5D was the runaway favorite for me. Thanks to Firefly and to Bufo.

  5. I did enjoy this, although there were several words and terms I had never heard of. In the end I was only beaten by one of them in 8d. I would have found 5d more helpful had it been listed as 4,3 than 7, but I did think it was a clever clue. I may well be another to take a day off tomorrow!

  6. Just within my 3* guide time, although my last two (22a and 15d) required rather a lot of brain-cudgelling. I enjoyed the 13/24/16/18 combo particularly. Thanks to Firefly, and Bufo.

  7. 30a was a new word for us that we needed to confirm. Now to remember it for next time. One of those puzzles that needed dogged persistence to work through but all sorted in the end. An enjoyable process.
    Thanks Firefly and Bufo.

  8. 3.5*/3.5*.

    Some comments: 1. What is the purpose of ‘houses’ in 26a? 2. Agree with Dutch about 22d. 3. Since Ischia and Capri are both in The Gulf of Naples, isn’t 10a some kind of all-in-one clue? 4. We have always spelled ‘decaf’ with a single f, so now we know better.

    Thanks to Bufo and Proximal.

    1. In 26a houses is a containment indicator, i.e. the glass provides accommodation for ‘umble’ inside the outer letters of timber.

      1. But isn’t that the function of ‘in’ (i.e. UMBLE is in TR)?

        Otherwise aren’t you saying that TUMBLER contains all the letters of, errm, tumbler?

        Confused of Sheffield.

        1. It seems fine to me – the ‘in’ just tells us where ‘umble’ is housed.

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